Welcome to Part 2 of our Strategic Action Series on Motivation and Goal Setting. In this part, we will look at the steps you need to take to implement your beautifully crafted SMART goal from Part 1.
Plan, Plan and Plan some more
This is where the meat gets onto the bones of the goal.
Choose your marathon training plan. Plot your novel. Decide who you will approach to get interviews for a new job. Research your weight loss options. Create the itinerary for your trip around Europe.
Just brainstorm the whole lot, writing everything down as it comes to you. Once you have everything you can think of down on paper, spend some time coming up with your plan.
Reassess your plan after a couple of days, adding anything that has come to you since you first brainstormed. Then plan to reassess again regularly as you go through the process. What got you to the first point of your goal might not get you to the finish line, after all.
Often overlooked in the early days of optimistic planning, is making a plan for when you fail. And you will. You will absolutely fall off that wagon. You won’t go running because it’s wet and cold. You will choose to graze all day on junk. You will stop sending out your CV because you are disheartened. You will stay away from your manuscript for days on end because you don’t know what your character will do. You will dip into the savings pot you have put aside for travelling.
It will happen, trust me! So make a plan for the days you don’t follow the plan. And accept that it’s going to happen. Then forgive yourself. You won’t make progress by beating yourself up!
Now you have your plan, and you have your plan for when you don’t follow the plan.
Without a schedule, you will almost certainly forget what that plan is, or in some cases, that you even had a plan.
Make the most of all that work you have done, and get it into a diary, calendar, or any sort of schedule you like. Then check the schedule as often as you need to to make sure you are reminded of your planned activities.
In the same vein as scheduling, the last thing you want to do is to regularly forget to execute your plan. It will happen occasionally, or something else will come up that takes precedence (injury, illness, something fab that will add to your life and doesn’t come up often). So add reminders any way you can.
Calendar reminders on a digital diary, post-it notes if you are more analogue. Asking your partner, colleagues or friends to remind you if it looks like you need it.
As well as reminding you of the task at hand, be sure to remind yourself of the bigger goal itself from time to time, and why you are doing it in the first place. Your WHY is a very powerful reminder in itself.
Treats and Rewards
We are still humans, having all of this lovely planning in place doesn’t make us infallible robots, after all. And what do humans like? Nice stuff.
Treats, rewards, fun.
Be sure to build fun into your plan, because enjoying something makes it far more likely that we will want to keep doing it. Regularly make sure you have some small treats, just because you are a person living a life, not because you have been ‘good’ or made progress with your goal tasks. After all, the reward will be in the achievement of the goal, and the enhanced person you are becoming in striving for it.
Rewards are slightly different, in that they can be related to your goal. If your target is running 5 days a week, every week, then maybe choose to reward yourself monthly. These rewards can scale up as you go if you like, to give you another little milestone to aim for. Maybe some new socks, some snazzier blister plasters, a new hat for running in, a trip to another country or city to run a half marathon, you get the idea.
So, now you have your SMART goal and your planning steps.
In Part 3 we will look at daily motivation to get you into the habit of achieving your goals.
This post was kindly written by Alexandra from alexandratozercoaching.com